University of Missouri

49-14: An Act to Establish the MSA Office of the Inspector General

Missouri Students Association

University of Missouri

Bill 49-14

An Act to Establish the MSA Office of the Inspector General

PURPOSE: To establish the MSA Office of the Inspector General and make those necessary changes to the MSA Bylaws for said purpose, including but not limited to: creating Chapter 9 of the MSA Bylaws, standing resolved on a precedent for selection criteria of an Inspector General, and amending the authorization of the Senate Operations Committee.

WHEREAS, the integrity of the Missouri Students Association is an end that the members of the Association are due without question or pause; AND

WHEREAS, the Senate Operations Committee, as per Section 2.62 of the MSA Bylaws, among others, is irresponsibly charged with duties and powers that are not befitting of a legislative committee; AND

WHEREAS, those duties and responsibilities which should not be granted said committee are those which are inherently corrupted by the natural political nature of a legislative committee in addition to falling victim to lower quality due to the time constraints of, for all intents and purposes, a committee body of volunteers; AND

WHEREAS, the Association would be much better served by a sustained, independent entity dedicated to the aforementioned end of the first whereas clause; AND

WHEREAS, the aforementioned end is one that has been adopted by the United States Congress with the passage of the Inspector General Act of 1978 (5 U.S.C. App.), and subsequently the Inspector General Reform Act of 2008, which established the Offices of Inspector General within numerous Federal agencies and the precedents of which are adopted by this bill; AND

WHEREAS, the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE) comments that the “Office of Inspector General (OIG) examines all actions of a government agency or military organization. Conducting audits and investigations, either independently or in response to reports of wrongdoing, the OIG ensures that the agency’s operations are in compliance with the law and general established policies of the government. Audits conducted by the OIG are intended to ensure the effectiveness of security procedures, or to discover the possibility of misconduct, waste, fraud, theft, or certain types of criminal activity by individuals or groups related to the agency’s operation. Misuse of agency funds or equipment are often revealed by OIG audits;” AND

WHEREAS, it can be seen that the charge of an OIG is one that is currently upon the Senate Operations Committee as per Section 2.62 of the MSA Bylaws, among others; AND

WHEREAS, on August 27, 2009, a former financial analyst for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), one Karen L. Parish of Woodbridge, VA, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with an embezzlement scheme that was intercepted by the OIG of the U.S. Department Of Commerce; it was uncovered that Parish engaged in 32 fraudulent transfers from PTO totaling $534,338.55; AND

WHEREAS, Inspector General Todd Zinser of the U.S. Department of Commerce highlighted that the “case underscores the importance of strong internal controls. It also emphasizes the significant need to stress integrity as a core value within the Federal workforce;” AND

WHEREAS, The Honorable Phyllis K. Fong, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Chair of the Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency (CIGIE), highlighted the following in her first semiannual report to Congress of 2009:

SUMMARY OF AUDIT ACTIVITIES

Reports Issued

Number of Reports                                                                                             22

Number of Recommendations                                                                         133

Management Decisions Made

Number of Reports                                                                                             22

Number of Recommendations                                                                         23

Total Dollar Impact (Millions) of Management-Decided Reports                       $112.9

Questioned/Unsupported Costs                                                                       $3.6

Funds To Be Put to Better Use                                                                          $109.3

SUMMARY OF INVESTIGATIVE ACTIVITIES

Reports Issued                                                                                                 141

Impact of Investigations

Indictments                                                                                                          228

Convictions                                                                                                          225

Arrests                                                                                                                    103

Total Dollar Impact (Millions)                                                               $47.4

Administrative Sanctions                                                                     74

; AND

WHEREAS, this level of thorough and independent reporting and investigation cannot be attained by the Senate Operations Committee, or any legislative committee, due to its aforementioned nature, thus inherently sustaining a disservice to the members of the Association.

THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE MISSOURI STUDENTS ASSOCIATION SENATE that Chapter IX is added to the MSA Bylaws, to read as follows:

CHAPTER IX

9.00 CHAPTER NINE DEFINED – All laws relating to independent government agencies within the Association shall be placed in Chapter Nine of the MSA Bylaws.

9.10 OFFICE OF THE INSPECTOR GENERAL

(A) DEFINITION – The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) shall serve to protect the integrity of the Missouri Students Association. The holder of this office, to be titled the “Inspector General” (IG), shall serve the following mission:

a.       Conduct independent and objective audits, investigations and inspections

b.      Prevent and detect waste, fraud and abuse

c.       Promote economy, effectiveness and efficiency

d.      Review pending legislation and regulation

e.       Keep the President and the Senate fully and currently informed

(B)  AUTHORIZATION – The authority of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) is derived from the members of the Association through the Senate. The OIG shall operate as an independent entity within MSA and execute the aforementioned mission with the following authority:

a.       have direct access to all records and information of MSA

b.      have ready access to the MSA President and Vice-President

c.       conduct such investigations and issue such reports as the OIG thinks appropriate

d.      issue subpoenas for internal MSA information and documents that are not held from access due to existing local, state, or federal law

e.       administer oaths for taking testimony

f.       deputize persons not holding an office, position, or employment within MSA to assist in the execution of the aforementioned mission on a volunteer basis

(C)  APPOINTMENT – The IG shall be appointed in the following manor:

  1.                                                               i.      Applicants shall submit their application to, and be interviewed by, the MSA President, the Speaker of the Senate, and the Chief Justice of the Student Court.
  2.                                                             ii.      A short list of three (3) applicants shall be developed by the MSA President, the Speaker of the Senate, and the Chief Justice of the Student Court collectively and submitted to the Senate Operations Committee.
  3.                                                           iii.      The Senate Operations Committee shall confirm one (1) applicant as the nominee for the Office of the Inspector General to the Senate.
  4.                                                           iv.      The nominee shall then stand for confirmation before the full Senate and shall assume the Office of the Inspector General upon confirmation.
  5.                                                             v.      Should the nominee not be confirmed by the full Senate, the Senate Operations Committee shall then revisit the short list of three (3) applicants and vote to confirm one (1) of the three (3) as the nominee, reconfirming the nominee who was not confirmed by the Senate should the committee so choose.
  6.                                                           vi.      Should all three (3) persons on the submitted short list fail to be confirmed by the Senate, the short list shall immediately stand expired and the appointment process shall restart at Section 9.10(C)(i).

(D) TERM OF OFFICE- The Inspector General shall serve for a term beginning upon their swearing in at the first full Senate meeting of the Spring Semester and ending upon the swearing in of their successor at the first full Senate meeting of the subsequent Spring Semester, or at an earlier full Senate meeting as being necessary to fill a vacancy in the office. The IG shall be sworn in as per Article VII, Paragraph B, Sections (1) and (2). An Inspector General may be reappointed by unanimous consent of the MSA President, the Speaker of the Senate, and the Chief Justice of the Student Court. The IG must then be confirmed for reappointment by the Senate Operations Committee and, subsequently, the full Senate. Upon confirmation, the IG shall be sworn in for a subsequent term as herein provided.

(E)  VACANCY- Should a vacancy arise in the Office of the Inspector General, the office shall be filled in the manner provided in Section 9.10(C).

(F)   REPORTING/DUTIES –

a.       The OIG shall serve under the general supervision of the MSA President; however, neither the MSA President nor the MSA Vice-President can prevent or prohibit the OIG from conducting an audit or investigation.

b.      When the OIG identifies cases of egregious and flagrant problems or abuses within MSA, the OIG shall immediately notify the MSA President of the findings through written report. The MSA President shall then be required to forward the OIG’s report, along with any comments, explanations and corrective plans, to the Senate Operations Committee within seven (7) days.

c.       The OIG shall issue a report to the Senate Operations Committee one (1) month prior to the end of each semester (Fall, Winter, and Summer) that describes the work of the OIG within the reporting period.

d.      The OIG shall issue to the MSA President and Senate Operations Committee audit, investigative, and inspection/evaluation reports, and any other reports deemed appropriate or necessary at such times deemed appropriate or necessary.

e.       The OIG shall additionally report any unreasonable refusal within MSA to provide solicited information to the MSA President and shall report suspected violations of the MSA Bylaws to the Senate Operations Committee and to the MSA Student Court.

f.       The OIG shall archive all reports and documentation related to the execution of the charges of the office and shall do so in a manner which best insures their future expedited retrieval.

(G) REMOVAL FROM OFFICE – Procedures for the removal of the Inspector General from office shall follow those outlined for the President and Vice-President in Section 1.70(A) and (B).

(H) COMPENSATION – TBA

BE IT RESOLVED that, for the establishment of precedent, those criteria sought for in an Inspector General shall include, but are not limited to;

  • Integrity; AND experience in:
    • accounting, auditing, and financial analysis; OR
    • law, management analysis, and public administration; OR
    • investigations

BE IT FURTHER ENACTED that Section 2.62 of the MSA Bylaws be amended as follows:

2.62 OPERATIONS COMMITTEE

  • (A) AUTHORIZATION-The Senate Operations Committee shall be charged with overseeing and ensuring the successful fulfillment of the duties and responsibilities of the Association. The Operations Committee shall accomplish this charge by:
  • (1) Approving various appointments of the President and Speaker.
  • (2) Overseeing Soliciting status and other related reports from appropriate individuals on services, projects and programs provided by the Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches.
  • (3) Overseeing internal allocations and finances through updates from the Vice-President on, and approval of, money transfers within the Association budget throughout the fiscal year as defined by Section 4.40(B) and through audits and reports issued to the committee by the OIG.
  • (4) Considering bills of the Senate.
  • (5) Recommending new internal policies to the Speaker, President and Vice-President, and the Chief Justice of the Student Court based on findings of the committee or the Office of the Inspector General.
  • (6) Dispatching the Inspector General to investigate areas of concern related to the operations of the Association, the conduct of officers and/or individuals within the Association, or any other purpose appropriately deemed necessary.
  • (6) (7) Recommending revisions to the Constitution, Bylaws and Rules of Senate whenever necessary.
  • (B) ADDITIONAL DUTIES, RESPONSIBILITIES AND POWERS OF THE CHAIR
  • (1) It shall be the duty of the Chair to meet with the President of the Association and the Inspector General on a consistent, at least monthly, basis in order to discuss the Operations and functioning of the Association. This duty may be satisfied by calling on the President of the Association and the Inspector General to testify before a regular meeting of the committee.
  • (C) APPOINTMENTS OF THE OPERATIONS COMMITTEE
  • (a) OVERSIGHT APPOINTMENTS – One member each to oversee the Operations of the Department of Student Services, Department of Student Activities, Department of Student Communications, Vice-President of the Association, Student Court, and Board of Election Commissioners.

BE IT FURTHER ENACTED that Sections 4.20 (B) and (D) of the MSA Bylaws be amended as follows:

4.20 FUNDING RESTRICTIONS

(B) OVERSPENDING-No MSA Officer shall expend monies that exceed the current total allocation of their branch, department, committee, or auxiliary. Any officer who encumbers his or her entity’s appropriation beyond its allocation shall be subject to an Senate Operations Committee inquiry of the Office of the Inspector General, which may recommend immediate removal from office subject to sections 1.59 and 1.60 to the Senate Operation Committee and the MSA President. Any member of the MSA Cabinet who knowingly allows this action shall be censured and shall be subject to dismissal.

(D) PURPOSES OF ALLOCATIONS-Only that which could reasonably be considered the purpose of any appropriation according to the provisions of the appropriation may be bought or financed from that account. If any appropriation is found to have been made outside its intended purpose, the Director of the offending Department or auxiliary shall explain to the Inspector General Operations Committee the reason for the allocation. Should the Operations Committee Inspector General determine that the explanation is invalid, the IG shall recommend in writing to the President of the Association and the Senate Operation Committee that the Director shall should be subject to disciplinary procedures in accordance with these bylaws.

BE IT FURTHER ENACTED that the Office of the Inspector General shall be filled (candidate appointed and confirmed) by the close of the 2009 Fall Semester and shall begin their term of office upon being sworn in as per Section 9.10(D) as herein established.

Respectfully Submitted,

Josh Travis, Operations Committee Chairman

Evan Wood, Vice Chairman, Operations Committee